Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Papadopoulos, N
item Shelley, T
item Jang, Eric

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/12/2006
Publication Date: 3/27/2006
Citation: Papadopoulos, N.T., Shelley, T., Jang, E.B. Behavioral mechanisms of mating acceleration after exposure of male c. capitata (diptera: tephritidae) to ginger and orange oil. Journal of Economic Entomology.

Interpretive Summary: The Mediterranean fruit fly is a key pest of agriculture. The sterile insect technique is one of many tools used to control this pest. Preexposure of male medflies to orange oil or ginger root oil increases the competitiveness of laboratory reared sterile males. This exposure did not affect the release of the sex pheromone of the males. This information is important in increasing our understanding of how such chemicals affect the behavior of this species.

Technical Abstract: The behavioral mechanism of mating acceleration after exposure of male Mediterranean fruit flies to ginger root oil (GO) or to orange peel oil (OO) was studied in the laboratory. Exposure to both oils increased the frequency of sexual signaling. In a wind tunnel females were attracted at similar rates to pheromone produced from GO and OO exposed males compared with pheromone produced from control (non exposed males) but they spent more time on objects emanating pheromone produced from OO males. In a no choice experiment, exposure of males to OO increased mating propensity. However, exposure to GO did not increase males mating propensity. Exposure of females to pheromone produced by males exposed to either GO or OO does not alter their mating propensity. Application of a micro-quantity of OO on male abdomen increased mating competitiveness but not application of the same quantity on the wing. Micro-application of GO on abdomen decreased mating competitiveness, while application on the wing had no effect. Both exposure of males to GO and OO increased mating competitiveness in similar rates when tested against unexposed males. However, direct comparison between GO and OO exposed males showed that the OO – exposed males were more competitive. The importance of our findings for understanding the sexual behavior of the Mediterranean fruit fly and the relationships between plant compounds and sexual behavior is discussed.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page